Psychology is a branch of science that focuses on how people think and act. To understand why people think, feel, and act the way they do, you may wonder if a four-year degree in psychology is worth the time and effort.
The truth is that specializing in the study of psychology has numerous advantages. With a degree, you’ll be prepared for an exciting and lucrative career – or several. For example, you may be able to help others overcome their difficulties or conduct insightful experiments into why people think and act in certain ways. You can even use the skills you learn in psychology classes to help you deal with difficult situations in your personal life.
To learn more about the many hidden advantages of pursuing a psychology degree, continue reading.
The high salary potential of a psychology degree is definitely a point in favor of this educational path, but money alone will not buy you a career satisfaction.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychologists make an average annual salary of $72,580, more than twice the median wage for all occupations combined (BLS). Psychologists can expect to make even more money. Industrial and organizational psychologists earn a median annual salary of $77,350, according to the BLS. According to the BLS, the median salary for psychologists outside of clinical, counseling, and school psychology is $94,590. Developmental, forensic, and social psychologists are among those who can command salaries in the six-figure range.
Your employer can also have an impact on your earning potential if you have a psychology degree. If you work in a hospital rather than a school or an outpatient clinic, you can expect to make $81,430 per year. The median salary for psychologists employed by the federal government is $90,620, if you have a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Even within the field of psychology, salaries can vary widely. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the top 10 percent of American psychologists make an average yearly salary of $118,310.
Optimistic Job Prospects
In addition to a high salary, psychology is a rapidly expanding field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects job growth in all occupations to be just 7% over the next decade. Even in the social sciences, where job growth is expected to be slightly better, only 12% growth is predicted.
Psychologists’ jobs are expected to grow at a rate that is “much faster than average,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists, in particular, will see a 20% increase in job opportunities. In places like hospitals, schools, social service agencies, and mental health facilities, many of these new opportunities will be available.
Numerous Possibilities for Specialization
There is no such thing as a universally applicable role for psychologists. A wide range of specializations are available in psychology because of its many subfields. Psychology majors can choose from a variety of specializations in areas such as clinical work with children or research in fields such as criminology or clinical work with adults who are struggling with mental illness.
These are a few of the areas of expertise available:
- Clinical psychology is the study and application of mental health diagnosis and treatment.
- Psychologists who specialize in counseling psychology are concerned with helping people cope with the difficulties they face in their personal, professional, and social lives.
- a branch of educational psychology that focuses on issues related to learning and conduct in schools
- Throughout the course of a person’s life, their thoughts, feelings, and actions change and evolve.
- Psychological concepts and research applied to the legal system in cases of family law, civil law, and criminal justice are known as forensic psychology.
- The field of social psychology focuses on how people’s thoughts and actions are influenced by their interactions with others.
In addition to these roles, psychologists have the option to specialize further. What kinds of mental health issues can a clinical psychologist help people with? What kinds of issues can a counseling psychologist assist you with? A developmental psychologist must decide whether or not he or she wants to devote their time to helping children or the elderly. The cases that a psychologist with expertise in forensics will be able to help with In the end, it all boils down to an individual’s personal interests and the steps they take to get ready for a career in psychology.
Versatile Preparation for the Workplace
When you earn a degree in psychology, you don’t have to be a psychologist. You have other options as well. Many professions and industries value the ability to understand how people think and why they act the way they do. If a student doesn’t pursue a graduate or doctoral degree in psychology after completing an undergraduate degree in the subject, it’s not uncommon for them to pursue other career paths.
According to the BLS, students with a psychology degree are most likely to pursue careers in sales, education, and business administration. A psychology degree, on the other hand, opens up a world of career possibilities. Are you interested in a career in public affairs, medicine, computer programming, or biology? According to the American Psychological Association (APA), psychology bachelor’s degree holders go on to do all of the above. Understanding human behavior and thought processes can help you succeed as a writer, interviewer, probations officer, or employment counselor, just to name a few possible career paths.
A psychology degree can be used in a wide variety of fields. Graduates leave school with the ability to solve problems, analyze and evaluate data, conduct research, and effectively communicate their findings orally and in writing, skills that are in high demand in any industry. As a result of their education, a growing number of psychology graduates are preparing for a wide variety of careers outside of psychology. According to the APA, many of these students had no intention of becoming psychologists in the first place. It was because of this that they decided to pursue a degree in psychology, which would provide them with the broad skills necessary to succeed in their chosen career path.
Opportunities for Business
Even though careers in the sciences, humanities, and everything in between can benefit from knowledge of psychology, business is one area where it is especially useful. As a result, nearly every aspect of the workplace requires workers to make or take action based on human reasoning and behavior.
Business professionals need to know what customers want in order to create a product or service that sells. Understanding what customers are willing to pay for an item or service, how to market those offerings effectively to the right consumers, and leading customers through a sales funnel are all critical for making money.
For a company to be successful, its leaders and administrative support staff must know how to interact with its employees. Employees’ thinking processes and behavior can be shaped through policies and a workplace culture that promotes efficiency and productivity. When it comes to improving productivity and morale among their employees, the most successful business leaders know exactly what to do and when to do it.
A career as an industrial-organizational psychologist may pique your interest if you’re interested in both business and psychology. These psychologists use their knowledge of psychology concepts and research methods to solve problems in the business world. Organizational psychologists specialize in everything from employee selection to leadership styles and strategic policy formulation.
This role, like many others in the business world, has the potential to be financially rewarding. Indeed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks industrial-organizational psychologist among the highest-paying business jobs.. It costs $158,990 a year to be in the top 10% of industrial-organizational psychologists.
Being Your Own Boss is a Dream Come True
Have you ever imagined yourself as an entrepreneur, making your own rules and taking charge of your own destiny? Self-employment can be a reality for those with a psychology degree. Nearly a third of psychologists are self-employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A psychology degree can open doors to a wide range of careers in fields such as business, counseling, and others.
For some people, entrepreneurship isn’t a good fit, and self-employment isn’t always easy to achieve. Psychological training can help with finding and analyzing relevant data, as well as how to interact with customers, clients and employees in a way that benefits your company’s efforts in the long run.
A Chance to Make a Positive Difference
Clinical and counseling psychologists are often motivated by a desire to help others. It is their goal to make a positive impact on the lives of those who are affected by a mental or behavioral health condition or a problem that is interfering with their personal, professional, or social lives.
Concerns such as the following can be addressed by a clinical or counseling psychologist:
- Disorders of development
- The term “eating disorders” is used to describe a
- Disorders of the mind
- People with learning difficulties
- The problem of substance abuse.
- Transitions and changes in life are a fact of life.
- At work and in school, I have difficulty adapting to changes.
- Family and marital difficulties
Because of their own personal experience dealing with mental health issues or difficult life transitions, some clinical and counseling psychologists choose to specialize in their respective fields of study and practice. Those who see the impact these conditions and situations can have on a person’s life decide to get involved. Many clinical and counseling psychologists share a desire to help others, regardless of their specialization.
Research Possibilities Are Endless
A career in psychological research might be a good fit if you’re a voracious learner. Even though we know a lot about human behavior, we still don’t know a lot about it. Psychologists are always on the lookout for new theories and methods to better understand human behavior. Their surveys and experiments contribute to the ever-expanding body of knowledge that informs psychological theories and practices.
Psychology has only been around since the late 1800s as a distinct field of study. In comparison, fields like chemistry, physics, and biology, which have their roots in fields dating back hundreds or even thousands of years, require much more time to develop. The field of psychology is still considered a relatively new one, and there are still many avenues for further study.
Modern research psychologists are focusing on a variety of topics, including:
- The conduct of adolescence
- The ability to identify and solve problems.
- Messages conveyed via social media
- Diet’s impact on cognitive function
- Behaviors that are influenced by the environment.
- Mental health conditions, their detection, and treatment
There’s still a lot of psychological research to be done, whether you’re interested in gender differences in thinking and behavior, how sensory information influences learning and behavior, or the advantages of playing video games.
New and Improved Soft Skills
Psychological theories and methods are only a small part of what you will learn in school. Soft skills are one of the most valuable things you can learn while earning a psychology degree. These skills include the ability to learn, think, and express oneself.
According to Psychology Today, critical thinking is one of the most important skills you can learn while studying psychology. To be successful in studying psychology, you’ll need to practice critical thinking skills as you learn about various theories, concepts, and methods. You’ll learn how to analyze not just whether the information is true, but also why the phenomenon progresses in the way it does. According to Psychology Today, if you want to work in law or business, or if you just want to be an educated and well-informed person, studying psychology is essential.
Studying psychology will, of course, provide you with a wealth of additional knowledge and abilities. You will learn how to conduct research effectively and efficiently so that you can locate accurate and dependable information on a variety of topics. You’ll learn how to communicate effectively in writing, regardless of whether you’re writing research findings or policy memos for your company. This is a valuable asset that not every college graduate has, but it is one that can be gained by studying statistics and the scientific method.
In both your personal and professional lives, a psychology degree can be beneficial. Individuals in our social circles, whether they be family or coworkers or even our pets, develop interpersonal relationships with one another every day. These kinds of connections aren’t always easy to maintain.
Having completed a psychology degree, a graduate has an advantage when it comes to resolving interpersonal conflicts. Students pursuing a degree in psychology learn about the mental processes that underlie their actions. Learning about psychological concepts and theories can help you put them into practice in your own life.
What sparked a disagreement or dispute in the first place? Someone in your relationship might alter their behavior due to a variety of factors. You can gain insight into the other person’s thoughts and feelings if you have a background in psychology. With this knowledge in hand, you can deal with an interpersonal issue on your own. According to Psychology Today, if you’ve studied psychology, you’ll know where to start looking for outside help in the form of counseling or psychotherapy.
Retiring from school with a psychology degree
It’s no surprise that psychology has been one of the most popular undergraduate majors in the United States for many years now. National Center for Educational Statistics estimates that 117,000 students receive bachelor’s degrees in psychology each year. You won’t have to worry about overcrowding in the field because of the rapid increase in job opportunities for psychologists and the wide variety of other career options available. Students who pursue a degree in psychology gain a wide range of skills that can be used in a variety of settings, including business, education, and government.
Research methodology and statistics, as well as a wide range of psychology, will be required of you if you decide to study psychology. For example, according to U.S. News & World Report, core subjects in an undergraduate degree program in psychological science may include topics such as abnormal psychology, psychological development, psychological cross-cultural and physiological. If you’re an undergraduate, you may be able to specialize in a particular area of psychology, such as addiction, criminal justice, children and adolescents, applied psychology, or business and workplace psychology. As a student in a psychology program, you’re likely to participate in a practicum or internship.
It’s possible that you’ll want to pursue a master’s degree in psychology at some point in the future. A doctorate in psychology is likely required for full licensure as a psychologist. There are two types of doctoral psychology degrees available: the research-based Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and the professional Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D. ), depending on your educational goals. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, students who want to pursue a career in counseling psychology, clinical psychology, or industrial/organizational psychology may want to consider a master’s degree.